What’s it really like to work in a hostel?

Matty working the front desk

What’s it really like to work in a hostel?

Posted by Susan in Traveling 21 Apr 2015

We get lots of requests to work at Room2Board.  I talk via Skype to one or two people every week from all over the world.  At any given time we have 6 “work for stay” staff members sharing a dorm.  It’s a tight knit space and they get to know each other really well. Some of our volunteers have travelled around a lot and know what hostel life is really like, while others like Matty are newbies.  I had met Matty a few times at my daughter’s volleyball matches at the University of Delaware, as he is the brother of one of her teammates.  In fact I asked Matty if he would be interested in the job, because I knew he would be a great fit.

The first couple of days Matty was here I didn’t think he was going to make it.  The staff room is cozy and hot (although they are now chipping in for AC!) and you can see he was out of his comfort zone.  But after 3-4 days Matty was loving hostel living and volunteering.  But mostly Matty was eating – he loves Fernando’s cooking.  I don’t think I have ever seen someone eat so much.

Meet Matty!

Where are you from?
Washington DC

Where did you go to college and why?
I went to JWU Providence for the criminal justice program and to continue playing Collegiate volleyball. I wanted a degree so that I can enter Officer Candidate School in the Army and pursue my career.

What made you decide to volunteer/intern  at Room2Board?
I volunteered here at R2B because I wanted to experience a new culture. Being here has helped me become even more independent.

Tell me about a typical day of work at Room2Board.
A typical day working at R2B is very relaxed. The atmosphere is full of conversation and chill music. Everyone has shorts and tanks on, no sign of jeans or long sleeves at the hostel. Everyone is open to getting to know one another. It’s nice meeting people from all around the world.

What is the best part of volunteering at R2B?
The best part about working here is having the opportunity to relax on the beach or the hammocks in the roof whenever I want. At home I visit the beach only in the summer.

Now be truthful – what is the worst part of volunteering at R2B?
The worst part about working here at the hostel is the heat. I’m still adjusting to the weather. You’re constantly sweating and having to hydrate. Sleeping without AC is awful. I wake up periodically in the night drenched in my own sweat.

What is your favorite bar in Jaco?
I don’t go out to bars here in Costa Rica .

Matty on Miro Mountain

Matty enjoying the view from Miro Mountain.

What is your favorite activity to do during your free time?
In my free time here I love to hit the beach and workout at the gym.

Favorite guest?
My favorite guest was  from Canada. A real down to earth girl who loved the exploring new life all over Costa Rica. ​She appreciated all the small things.

Least favorite guest?  Don’t name names.
Worst guest is the guy who tried to bring back prostitutes and wrote a bad review because we didn’t allow him to.

Funniest experience?
The funniest experience is one of the volunteers falling in the room and taking everything off of the desk during the fall.

Any tours you highly recommend?

Matty on the waterfall tour

Waterfall tour

I highly recommend the Extreme Waterfall tour. You get to come face to face with nature of the jungle. You also get the chance to not only swim at the bottom of a waterfall, but jump off waterfalls almost over 60 feet high.

Favorite R2B meal?
My favorite meal is the R2B complete breakfast. Of course the cheesecake brownie and ice cream as well.

What advice would you give future R2B volunteers?
Don’t bring pants, sweaters, or any type of warm clothes. I would recommend joining any possible tour that you can to experience more of the culture here in Costa Rica.

 Would you like to work in a hostel?

If you would like to work in a hostel, send us an email and we will be happy to talk with you.

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